We Need To Stop Promoting Violent Rape Depictions

Stop Cheering On 'The Handmaid's Tale' And Its Graphic Depiction Of Rape

Exploitative scenes of rape does not equate awareness.


When I was given the Hulu password by my boyfriend, there was one show that every single person was making the unfortunate effort of ranting about and that was "The Handmaids Tale." It's a Hulu original that I knew very little about. All I knew is Amish looking women often walked around bloody and bruised, some of them missing eyes and other vital parts of their body.

Originally, many people saw "The Handmaids Tale" as a stand for women's rights and a depiction of what the world might become if we did make abortion and other reproductive health and necessities illegal. I see it as quite the opposite. Upon watching the scenes I was able to stomach, all I was filled with was a dreaded sense of "what if" and a frightening mirror of some current events in our world that filled me with fear from how this fictional show wasn't all that fiction. I didn't necessarily feel inspired to match out in the streets for my rights, but rather just a sense of dread and discouragement from a world that seemed so dark yet not even that far away.

Another thing that this show makes the grotesque mistake of doing time and time again is unbelievably vile depictions of rape, violence, cruelty, torment, and murder. I do not think that creating such scenes will ever result in any sort of "awareness" even though this is a trend that is on the fast track upwards. Filming whatever scenes of horror you like and then chalking it up to that of awareness seems to be something that almost all film, television, and content creators are getting away with in this day age.

Just as exposing graphic and triggering scenes of suicide in the Netflix original "13 Reasons Why" did not bring awareness to suicide, but rather exploited it as well as resulted in that of documented copycat attempts, displaying and exploiting rape in graphic depictions is in no way bringing any sort of awareness or promoting any sort of positive change.

The scenes exhibited in "The Handmaid's Tale" do not really prompt or inspire any sort of change, but rather leave one with the dark disturbing misery and an awareness of the kind of world that we live in. Viewers of Handmaid's Tale also aren't tuning into the series for education on the activism of women's rights in the same way people who regularly watch Game of Thrones aren't watching for information of Medieval History. They're watching for the gore, the gaps, the drama, things so gruesome that you can't possibly look away, like a train wreck occurring before you that you almost feel immoral or wrong for witnessing.

The film and book series "The Hunger Games" was a similar style to this dystopia writing where the world has spiraled into a chaos controlled by the government. This series of books is one that I read and the movies are also something that I watched and supported. "The Hunger Games" also exhibited violence as does "The Handmaid's Tale," but was kind enough to spare us graphic depictions of rape and other unspeakable acts. However, in this book series, it never elevated itself to that of activism. I am thankful for the women, their handmaid's outfits and protested restrictive abortion laws. I am thankful for those who came before me who granted the right to choose.

However, ever elevated any sort of pop culture platform whether that be books, movies, or television shows, you are putting yourself in dangerous territory.

The triggering depictions in "The Handmaid's Tale" or something that I do not believe a wide audience should have to be objected to and the sickening portrayals of gruesome injustice that this show never seems to hold back from in the slightest is one that I am a little surprised and disappointed took off to the level that it did. I never expected we as humans, a county, or a collective to lap up violence, rape depictions, and gore in the manner we do. I am not innocent myself having supported movies that elevate this and even written similar materials before in my own personal work that I strive to create.

However, I think that we don't need these kinds of senseless acts that trigger our victims in order to make a storyline entertaining.

An article was recently written in which a group of feminists discussed that although the show was supposed to inspire a sense of activism and bring recognition to women's rights, the entire premise seemed to be missing the plot entirely by scaring its viewers away. With graphics and gruesome scenes of horrific acts being committed and often even done in a way that makes you see through the vile eyes of the assaulter, the show has become one that I and many women around the globe are entirely unable to stomach. Most of the comments under the trailer say things such as, "This is extremely disturbing so I won't be viewing. Please pass on peace, love, and kindness." Or, "Don't we have enough of this?"

The world at large is growing weary of the incomprehensible violence we are forced to be desensitized so even if that violence or rape depiction is done in the name of activism. Upon researching, I realized that there are no trigger warnings at the beginning of any episodes, leaving victims or sexual assault or other crimes of battery to sit and play a guessing game as to if they're going to have to relieve violent depictions of their victimization. Trigger warnings, in general, have become somewhat of a mockery equipping the title of "social justice warrior," "libtard," and other offensive labels to anyone who dates request that consideration of victims be taken into account when content creating.

In conclusion, I will fight for a women's right to choose. I will fight for my LGBTQ folks across the globe and strive my best for a brighter tomorrow for the minorities that are so often left behind. I think shows such as this one are steering people in a direction that is not overall beneficial. The show has no visible representation of any LGBTQ characters, only heterosexual women being assaulted by their men. The plot in its entirety goes the at a relentless speed exposing us all to the torment and vile nature of the world in which we so often try to escape through art.

I am not saying I would like to be consumed by my entertainment and pop culture, oblivious to the acts that are occurring in the world around me, but rather, have those events of the world or dreaded upcoming events that our world could be headed to, in a fashion that gets the message across without triggering our victims. exploiting terror and assault, or scaring away a potential audience as well as neglecting minorities.

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36 Rules Of Life From 'NCIS's' Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Sometimes we all need a smack on the back of the head.

I have been watching "NCIS" since the show began back in 2003, and season 15 will be airing this September. It is one of the longest running series and for a good reason, even though a lot of your favorite characters die off in the show they somehow still keep it alive. Anyone who has watched an episode or more knows about the infamous Gibbs's rules. Here's the list that we can gather from the many episodes:

Rule 1: "Never let suspects stay together." - revealed in the Season 1 premiere episode, Yankee White (episode).

Rule 2: "Never screw over your partner." - revealed in the Season 4 episode, Blowback (episode). McGee also stated this rule to Ned Dorneget in Need to Know (episode). McGee also mentioned to Abigail Borin in Ships in the Night (episode) that rule number one has been taken twice, showing that he knows that there are two number one rules.

Rule 3: "Always wear gloves at a crime scene." - revealed in "Yankee White."

Rule 4: "Don't believe what you're told. Double check." - again revealed in "Yankee White."

Rule 5: "Never be unreachable." - revealed in the Season 3 episode, Deception (episode) although Gibbs has been known to be intentionally unreachable. The rule was shown in Rule Fifty-One (episode) in the background when Gibbs opens the box.

Rule 6: "The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person - if you must. There is no third best." - revealed in the Season 4 episode, Blowback (episode)

Rule 7: "You don't waste good." - revealed in the Season 8 episode, Baltimore (episode).

Rule 8: "Never say you're sorry. It's a sign of weakness." - This rule has been mentioned throughout the series, but it wasn't given a specific number until Flesh and Blood (episode). The rule is also a direct reference to John Wayne's catch phrase in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" (John Ford, Director). Wayne said: "Never apologize, mister, it's a sign of weakness." to subordinates in a military situation. DiNozzo notes the connection in Hiatus Part 1 (episode). Mark Harmon's career has paralleled John Wayne's. They both were quarterback of their southern California college football team, both went into acting. (Harmon's father, Tom Harmon, was a Heisman Trophy-winner and actor & announcer as well.) Note: This is continuously told to Tony, Ziva and Tim through a smack to the back of their heads.

Rule 9: "Always be specific when you lie." - revealed in the Season 1 finale episode, Reveille (episode).

Rule 10: "Never take anything for granted." - revealed in the Season 3 episode, Probie (episode) although Gibbs also quotes it as being "Never assume" during the Season 9 episode, Rekindled (episode).

Rule 11: "Never go anywhere without a knife." - revealed in the Season 1 episode, One Shot, One Kill (episode)although it's sometimes quoted as "Never leave home without a knife" or "Always carry a knife."

Rule 12: "Never get personally involved in a case." - revealed in the Season 7 episode, Obsession (episode) and again referenced by the new SECNAV Clayton Jarvis in the Season 9 premiere episode, Nature of the Beast (episode) as the number one rule in Washington politics.

Rule 13: "When the job is done, walk away." - revealed in the Season 6 episode, Semper Fidelis (episode).

Rule 14: "Never date a co-worker." - revealed in the Season 1 episode, Enigma (episode).

Rule 15: "Never, ever involve lawyers." - revealed in "Collateral Damage." Rule 51 is written on the back of the card containing Rule 13 in "Rule Fifty-One."

Rule 16: "Bend the line, don't break it." - revealed in Anonymous was a Woman (episode).

Rule 17: "Always work as a team." - revealed in Leap of Faith (episode).

Rule 18: "If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it." - revealed in the Season 8 finale episode, Pyramid (episode).

Rule 19: "Never, ever interrupt Gibbs during an interrogation." - revealed in the Season 14 episode, Privileged Information (episode).

Rule 20: "It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission." - revealed in Silver War (episode).

Rule 21: "Always look under." - revealed in The Artful Dodger (episode)

Rule 22: "Never ever bother Gibbs in interrogation." - revealed in Smoked (episode).

Rule 23: "Never mess with a Marine's coffee... if you want to live."- revealed during "Forced Entry."

Rule 24: "There are two ways to follow someone. First way, they never notice you. Second way, they only notice you." - Jack Knife (episode) and "Rule Fifty-One."

Rule 25: "When you need help, ask." - revealed during Blood Brothers (episode).

Rule 26: "Always watch the watchers." - revealed in "Baltimore."

Rule 27: "If you feel like you are being played, you probably are." - revealed in Nature of the Beast (episode).

Rule 28: "Your case, your lead." - revealed in Bounce (episode) placing Tony as temporarily in charge of the team, and also in Phoenix (episode) with Ducky as leader.

Rule 29: "There is no such thing as coincidence." - revealed in Obsession (episode) although DiNozzo states that Rule 39A is "There is no such thing as a small world" during Canary (episode).

Rule 30: "If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are." - revealed in Borderland (episode).

Rule 31: "Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you." - revealed in Psych Out (episode).

Rule 32: "First things first, hide the women and children." - This rule number was mentioned in Patriot Down (episode) but was not stated until Rule Fifty-One (episode).

Rule 33: "Clean up the mess that you make." - revealed in "Rule Fifty-One" although it's also stated as "Never leave behind loose ends" in Hiatus Part 2 (episode).

Rule 34: "Sometimes you're wrong." - Created by Gibbs in Rule Fifty-One" by writing it on the back of the card containing Rule 13. It is unknown if his coworkers are aware of this rule.

Rule 35: "Always give people space when they get off an elevator." - revealed in Double Back (episode)

Rule 36: "Never trust a woman who doesn't trust her man." - revealed in Devil's Triangle (episode).

While some seem to deal with Gibbs only there are some very great life lessons present. If you haven's started watching "NCIS" I suggest you start soon, it is all on Netflix.

"A slap to the face is an insult - a slap to the back of the head is a wake-up call." Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Cover Image Credit: CBS TV / Twitter

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'Grey's Anatomy' Taught Me Just How Important Gay Rights Are

This episode opened my eyes and heart.


Attending a Catholic high school made it very clear in my mind that LGBTQ individuals did not fit in with society. I watched as our principle refused to allow students to invite their same-sex partners to dances. I remember our administration fighting against letting a boy on our dance team because they thought it would ruin the reputation of being a Catholic school. The way they were treated in front of me every day became the way I thought the world should treat them too. But I couldn't have been more wrong.

In season seven, episode 12 of "Grey's Anatomy," Meredith Grey encounters a patient who was trampled by horses after his partner set up a carriage ride to take them to sign their domestic partnership papers. His partner explains to Meredith that he had just wanted the day to be special because straight people get to have the most special day of their lives on their wedding day. They get the flowers, the ceremony, the reception, the gifts. At this point in time, all members of the LGBTQ got was their signature on a piece of paper.

I remember something inside of me being moved at the thought of someone simply being in love and not being able to celebrate it because people thought it was "weird" or "unnatural." I put myself in the reverse situation and thought about how much it would break my heart if society did not accept the fact that I want to marry my wonderful boyfriend some day. I cried during the scene in the show because even though it was acting, I could see just how important these two people were to each other and all of the unnecessary barriers they had to cross just to prove that their love was the same as anyone else's.

Maybe this moment was extremely late in my life to have the realization of how hard it must be for LGBTQ people to find happiness in our society, but I am glad I had that realization at all.

Certain religions crucify the LGBTQ community, saying they will go to hell for sexuality because it is a sin. Personally, I have a hard time believing that God could condemn anyone for showing another human being unconditional love.

It scares me how poisonous our society can be at times. 10 years ago, if you asked me how I felt about people in the LGBTQ community, I would probably (wrongfully) say that they freaked me out. These days, while you won't necessarily see me at a Pride parade, you will see me hyping up and supporting my awesome gay best friend to go after his crush. You will see me taking girls hitting on me as a compliment rather than something weird. You will see me openly supporting gay rights because it is the right things to do, human to human.

The saying "love is love" is so simple, yet so incredibly true.

I can't help how much I love my boyfriend and I would never in a million years expect someone to tell me to stop. Who are we to tell members of the LGBTQ community to stay in some box society and religion have built? We aren't. Love is love and you can never and will never be able to put rules and restrictions on a feeling.

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